Susan's Blog

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lions and Mothers and Cares, Oh My

There once was a boy named Pierre
Who only would say, “I don’t care!”
Read his story, my friend, for you’ll find in the end
That a suitable moral lies there.
–Maurice Sendak/Carole King, Pierre, 1963

One of my fondest memories is when Nat was into Pierre, the Maurice Sendak Nutshell Collection, and the Weston Woods video with Carole King singing the songs. The music transports me to my childhood (I was born in 1962) and now, to Nat’s as well. When Nat was four, he had a fascination with naughty, apathetic Pierre. It was always a way to get him to talk: just start singing the beginning and let him fill in the blanks, with him grinning in delight. I remember an especially funny, sweet mistake he used to make, at this part:

Arriving home at six o’clock
His parents had a dreadful shock.
They found the lion sick in bed
And cried, “Pierre is surely dead!”
They shook the lion by the hair,
They hit him with the folding chair
His mother asked, “Where is Pierre?”
And the lion answered, “I don’t care!”
His father said, “Pierre’s in bed.” [This last was Nat’s error; can you guess what it was supposed to be?]

I just found it so poignant that Nat did not get it. If he truly thought Pierre was in bed, then he did not realize that Pierre had actually been eaten by the lion! It made me think about how little words might mean to Nat, that he could interchange them like that so lightly. Or am I reading into it?

So today, he got off the bus, and Pierre was in my head for some reason. So out of the blue, as I was dishing out Nat’s ice cream, I sang, “There once was a boy named Pierre, who only would say……..”
As I sang these old familiar words, Nat broke into such a happy grin. “I don’t care,” he sang, right on cue.
Then I sang, “What would you like to eat?”
And he sang, just like old days, “Some lovely cream of wheat.”
And I sang, (just to stretch him a little), “Some lovely ice cream treat.”

He took the bowl and just started eating.
Oh, Natty. I care.

2 comments

Yeah for Nat! Super sweet!

— added by Laura Cottington on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 12:35 am

That’s so awesome! And cute!
Alena loves rhythmic, rhyming stories. I shall have to check this one out for her.
Go Nat!

— added by Jen on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 11:27 am

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